Category Archives: Adventure

Why you should go all in on YOU

Usually I do the major life review thing at New Year, but for some reason this year the urge came upon me on my birthday.  It wasn’t even that I’d decided to get all insightful and zen – to be honest I was just downright frustrated and fed up and this was what led to the break through.

I guess I realized that I no longer had anything to lose.  On the surface – large parts of my life had turned to sh**.  Like – living on savings, trying to find some kind of income, laptop blown up – making it really hard to blog, partner with diminished mobility due to failed surgery on his knee, winter, cold house.  BUMMER!  It sucked, and no matter what I did I couldn’t seem to gain traction on any of it.  So I gave up.   And that changed everything….

So often we hear from the likes of influencers like Gary Vaynerchuk and Tony Robbins that we need to be ourselves, be the best that we can be, be honest, be authentic.  And despite writing posts on it here and here I hadn’t realized that I still wasn’t being enough ME. Not nearly enough, not even halfway enough.   Which was weird, because that’s what I THOUGHT I totally was doing.   I wasn’t embracing my weird, my crazy and irreverentness (is that even a word?), my loudness, my colour, my impulsiveness,  all those things that I’d been criticized for all my life.  I looked at myself and realized I’d been playing it small.  Far too small.   And if you ever meet me, you’ll realize that I’m NOT a quiet play-it-small person.

Instead, on that brilliant birthday I made a decision to double down on the loud, the crazy, the irreverence, the weird, and if people didn’t like it…… well zero f**ks given.   Nothing else was working anyway so nothing to lose.   And in some weird the-universe-is-watching-you way it’s worked.  Like, INSTANTLY.

In the past two weeks, I’ve dyed my hair the reddest red I could find, thrown out all the black clothing and put together the most outrageous and colourful combinations I could imagine, turned up the stereo, got an awesome job (never expected that, the over-50 curse has been upon me lately) and figured out how to get around the broken laptop dilemma until I can afford a new one.  All because I decided to say f**k it, even if it meant selling the house, moving, and losing relationships.  Whew, is that a rollercoaster or what?

To all you regular readers, I apologize.  I’ve been a fraud.  This blog is all about living with #heart especially when you’re over 50 and have to start again from scratch, and up till now I realize that I haven’t been doing that honestly.  Even my writing has been measured and careful.   But no more..  Expect more SHOUTING, more rants, more crazy.  More passion too – but what a poor sad word that’s been  debased by the HR departments of big corporates.  Anyone for a self-starter who’s passionate about counting things??? Groan.  Actually I think crazy about covers it.

And the work….driving shuttle buses at the local skifields with an awesome crew of people.  And free skiing.  Did I mention free skiing????  Except not skiing,  this year I’m learning to board so it’s free riding.  AND getting to be in the mountains all day.

So if you’re at that place where I was not so long ago.  Give up, stop trying so hard, DON’T  try to change.  Double down on YOU, wallow in your you-ness and see what it brings you.  It might just be gold.

And if you’re wondering I’m FIFTY SIX YEARS experienced.  That’s the word.  Experience.  Not old.  Never old.  Just crazy!

Bring it on! Live with #heart!  And please read follow and share too!


PS my bus is the tiny one down the far end….





This summer has been all about earning money driving international visitors all over the lower South Island of New Zealand, which has meant that I haven’t had much time for my own outdoors adventuring.  I’ve been working on self development adventures instead.  Recently three of us had a day trip up Roy’s Peak.  It was sooooo good to get out in the hills for a change.  As you can see in the photo above the day was glorious and there was hardly a breath of wind – quite unexpected for this time of year.  In case you are wondering that’s me on the left in my snazzy Adventures Before Dementia t shirt with my good friend John beside me.

The point of all this is that it’s not about three people climbing a peak.  Two of them strolled up it – yes you John and Lizzie.  But one of them didn’t – no surprises who that was.  Yes moi, me, yours truly.  I admit it here now and in public .  I struggled going up that goddamn hill.  I huffed and puffed and plodded.  I’ve always been ashamed of the fact that I’ve struggled whenever I’ve climbed anything of any consequence.  I’ve been up a few peaks by this stage in my life and if there’s is someone sweating and puffing and going reallllly slowly, chances are that it will be me.  It’s literally one foot in front of another, plodding.  So embarrassing.  BUT dammit I do it.  I get there eventually and nothing but nothing can take that achievement away.

So isn’t this a metaphor for our lives?  Why are we so ashamed when we’re making a good honest effort?  We may not be as fast as others or as able, or skilled, or agile, or clever, or whatever, but with determination we will get there in the end.  We need to embrace our struggles, for these become our adventures, these are what make us and what ultimately become our greatest triumphs.  In the heart of every difficulty there  lies the seed of its solution.  Your bump in the road may be someone else’s Mt Everest.  So don’t laugh next time you see someone struggling with ANYTHING – give them a high five instead.  They’re going at their own pace but at least they’re out there trying .  At least they are having adventures and #doingwhattheycan’t.

Inspiration for this post came in part from a Casey Neistat video – watch it here.  Don’t let anything stop you, be the man or woman in the arena, face marred by blood and dust, striving valiantly.   Do what you can’t, have the adventure, live the dream, be the person on the iceberg (you need to watch the video to get that!)

And if you see me sweating up a hill one day, stop and say hi – I could probably use the rest!








Why Adventures?

adventures, explore, freedom

This blog is called Adventures Before Dementia because I aim to fit in as many as humanly possible before I shuffle off this mortal coil.  Hopefully by having an excess of Adventures the Dementia part of the title will never happen or at least be as minimal as possible!   I aim to have all kinds of adventures and not just travel ones, even if they are my most favourite kind.   Adventures of the mind, the heart, the soul, adventures of the spirit and last but by no means least, creative adventures.

Why?  Just because.  Just because everybody needs Adventures, proper ones spelt with a capital letter.  Serious Adventures.  We need them in order to grow as individuals.  We need them to make our life interesting, to give us something to look forward to and something to remember in the dark days of winter, we need them to rise above the humdrum, the run of the mill.  For in adventuring we find freedom……

May this be of use to you


I’m A Warrior – What’s Your Archetype?

warrior, military strong goals woman

Can a 55 year old woman with two kids and a husband be a warrior?  Hell yeah.

As much as anything being a warrior is an archetype, a mindset, an attitude to life.

I’ve had a few challenges lately.  I think the Universe has been trying to tell me something about my usual mild mannered ways.  I’m the typical Taurean bull – quiet and peaceful and sucks it up for ages until I’ve had enough and then there’s an explosion that you really don’t want to be around for.   There’s been a number of individuals that I’ve come across recently who have been down right obnoxious and bullying, and I’ve caught the sharp end of their temper.  One of them even chased me into a bar to inform me what a horrible person I was.  My daughter nearly peed herself laughing when I told her about it.  As she put it “Mum was in a bar fight!” Thanks babes.  I’ve a feeling that I really need to grow up and gain a backbone or I’ll suffer this crap for the rest of my life, which is not an appealing prospect.

I’ve always loved hard stuff.  I  don’t mind physical or for that matter mental hardship and I relish a challenge.  So from now on I’m taking on my warrior archetype, until it is no longer useful and there is a tiny ninja turtle figure on my windowsill to remind me to harden up.

So what is an archetype?  According to they are:

An original model after which other similar things are patterned. In the psychology of Carl Jung, archetypes are the images, patterns, and symbols that rise out of the collective unconscious and appear in dreams, mythology, and fairy tales.

So the Warrior archetype would be a kind of universal symbol of a warrior  of which most of us would agree on the qualities personified.  A warrior should exhibit for example :

  • Strength (both inner and outer)
  • Courage
  • Physical fitness
  • Control
  • Patience
  • Leadership
  • Ability to work alone
  • On a quest
  • Confidence
  • Takes no crap
  • Slightly scary……

Where I am going with this post, is that I believe that at certain points  we need to take on the mantle of another personality to enable us to get on with our lives.  At the moment I really need to be a Warrior, but I could see that perhaps later in life I could take on the mantle of a Sage or a Poet or a Mystic to fulfill my purpose.

Now every morning I meditate on what it is to be a Warrior and feel my inner strength and courage.  Please don’t let it take a “bar fight” for you to discover yours!

May this be of use to you






On Freedom

biker-407123_1920I’ve written a lot about goals.

On working hard on them and reviewing daily.

On some I’m doing really well and on others it’s about having faith and making tiny steps.

Its also about tracking goals daily so that my methods can be adjusted.

But what it’s really about is freedom.

Freedom to live my life the way I want to.  Freedom to not be dictated to:  by employers, by society, by family, by “shoulds.”   Freedom to look after my family and friends.  Freedom to have adventures.  Freedom to be the real me.

At 55 I’m finally ready to grow up.  I’m designing my life the way I want it to be, not by societal norms.  I’ve done all the things I “should” do – get married, have children, buy a house, have a career.  Some of these things have been a success in anyone’s eyes – I have a long and happy marriage, I have two kids whom I adore, plus a bunch of awesome friends who I regard as family, and I have a house in an extremely desirable area.   I’ve paid my dues and now it’s my turn to do what the hell ever I want.  Freedom to choose

I desperately need another big adventure.

Part of my big adventure is working on my hard on my goals – adventures of the mind.

But I need physical adventures too.


Freedom to walk off with my backpack and keep going and to stop when I feel like it.  Freedom to ride my motorbike into the sunset.  Freedom to sit at Parisian cafes drinking espressos and (shock horror) foie gras and watching the world go by.  Freedom to snorkel off a sandy tropical beach as the palm trees wave languidly in the breeze.  Freedom to laugh and haggle in Asian markets.  Freedom to chat to fellow travellers at airports.  Freedom to earn my own income that’s contingent only on myself, not subject to the whims of an employer.

The question is:  what’s the next big adventure going to be?




Flip It!

upsidedown flipit plane

Flip it! has become my motto lately.  If something’s not working, what do I do?  I flip it.  I do the opposite and see if that is any more successful.

Sometimes we have to press reboot on our ideas.  I know at 55, it’s easy to get in a bit of a rut about what works and what doesn’t in life.   However, I’m finding that sometimes what has always works no longer serves in my new rebuilt existence.  Pardon if that sounds like the Terminator, but you know what I mean.  What has always worked for me in many areas, no longer does so, and it’s time for a change.

This blog is not called Adventures Before Dementia for nothing.  I’ve gone from a quiet(ish) – I was never that great about being quiet in a library, librarian existence to having to find a new purpose and meaning in life, and a new way to earn an income.  I’ve gone from the orderly and conventional to a bit of the crazy.  In other words I’ve flipped it – some would say in more ways than one……It’s time to flip my life on its head and have a bunch more adventures.  Lately, I’ve been focused on earning an income (not always successfully) but I’m feeling like I need a little bit more of the crazy (I’ll keep you posted) Anyone like to join me?

May this be of use to you.

Why I love airports


Among travellers it seems almost de rigeur to hate on airports, and to be honest I’ve never understood why.  Certainly in this country (New Zealand) you can’t undertake any sort of travel of a serious nature without getting on a plane.  We’re a tiny island in a large ocean and to get anywhere else requires a plane ride, often a long one. So for me airports have always represented the beginning of a great adventure.

I’m very rarely bored at an airport.  I observe my fellow travellers and wonder about their lives their trips, the reasons they are making them, where they’re from and where they’re going.  The farewells, the arrivals and the sheer diversity of humanity.  There is scope for making up endless stories about strangers in a crowd.

Checking out other people’s luggage is another favourite pastime.  I have a luggage obsession and am always hunting for the perfect  item.  I watch it all roll past and mentally design my ideal bag.  The obsessive compulsive bag wrapping types can tell theirs apart from everyone else’s  by the layers of plastic.  The rest of us try and express some element of our personality in our choice of colour, size, shape, number of pockets or zips in the hope that we can identify it quickly in the general scrummage at the luggage carousel.

All this may be because I’m a hick from a tiny little country at the bottom of the world but I don’t think so.  There is still romance in travel despite the fact that it is so much easier now than when the great Victorian explorers where making their journeys across continents unknown .  There is still the romance of exploration, of seeing the new, the different and the intriguing in other cultures, and other places, and I don’t believe that will ever change.    Just checking out the departures/arrivals boards in a foreign airport is the best fun.  I imagine myself jetting off to exotic and unusual destinations purely on the basis of an intriguing place name.   And then  watching who gets off the flights from those destinations…

And yes waiting can be a pain, especially when your flight is delayed, and delayed again and then cancelled, and I must confess that I’ve never been stuck in an airport for days due to the vagaries of Icelandic volcanoes.  That would justifiably sour one’s point of view.  However, I make sure that I always have a book/kindle with me and latterly I have my knitting.   And no, I’ve never had my knitting needles confiscated, but the security man at Casablanca airport poked me in the arm with one to see what my reaction was  And yes it did hurt, but I wasn’t going to let him know that, because then it would have been bye bye knitting.

The keys to enjoying your airport experience:

  1. Realize you are nothing more than human cattle – it’s not personal.  You are there to be queued checked, checked again queued again questioned and processed.  Get over it.
  2. Wear comfy shoes for queueing in.  And yes I’ve been known to break out the crocs.   Desperately, tragically and painfully uncool, but light and easy to slip off on the plane, and be worn with a pair of socks if need be (even more uncool) and allow for swelling of feet on long haul flights.  If anyone can find an attractive alternative please let me know!
  3. Lycra is your friend.  Soft stretchy clothing that is breathable and allows you to move easily is the priority.
  4. Have something portable and  productive to do while you are waiting.  Time passes quicker.  For me its knitting and blogging.
  5. If you desperately need peace and quiet consider paying for access to a lounge.
  6. Lastly if you are a member of that privileged portion of the world who can afford to travel DON’T COMPLAIN!  You are fortunate indeed.